(JTA) — President Donald Trump chastised Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for her “terrible” comments on Israel, as Democrats seek to control damage from remarks that Omar’s critics say trafficked in an anti-Semitic theme.
Trump noted the controversy on his Twitter feed, referring to a petition asking Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the House speaker, to remove Omar from the influential Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel,” Trump tweeted late Monday. “Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!”
The petition Trump referred to was signed by 11 groups, two of which are not Jewish. Only one, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, is a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The others are conservative and would not normally get a hearing from a Democratic speaker.
Omar said last week during a town hall in Washington that “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Numerous Democratic colleagues criticized her for invoking an anti-Semitic trope that questions the loyalty of Jews to their home countries. The Democratic leadership in the House advanced a resolution that condemns anti-Semitism but does not name Omar.